How To Take Off Acrylics With Hot Water – Easy Guide

Acrylics seem to never go out of style, but it can be a hassle when you remove them. Did you know you can take off acrylics with hot water?

Woman's hand during a manicure in a beauty salon.

To take acrylics off with hot water, you want to soak your fingers in warm water for 15-20 minutes and once your acrylics have begun swelling, use a nail file or cuticle stick to pull the acrylics off gently. Once removed, you want to apply cuticle oil and moisturizer to your hands and nails.  

This article will list the steps to take acrylic nails off with hot water and things to consider.

We will also include additional ways to remove acrylic nails and how to get rid of the remaining glue. Keep reading to find out more. 

What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are extensions to your natural nails made from a powder polymer and a liquid monomer. The two substances form a paste bonded to your natural nail. 

Acrylics are outstanding for those looking to add length to their nails and haven’t been able to do so naturally. Once the acrylics are applied, you can decide what length and shape you want them to be. 

You can also have acrylic overlays done. These do not provide an extension to your nails but they do offer a protective hard layer that sits on top of your natural nail.

Unlike gels, acrylics don’t require UV light to cure and dry on their own. In addition, acrylics can last up to two months if you have them filled in every few weeks.

How To Take Acrylic Nails Off With Hot Water 

Hot water effectively removes acrylic nails because it’s natural and has no harmful ingredients. Also, it’s a free method that doesn’t involve a visit to the salon. 

You can cause damage to your natural nails when you remove acrylics, and hot water is a healthy way to prevent excessive damage.

In addition, during the removal process, you run the risk of weakening your natural nails. 

Common chemicals, like acetone, can irritate your skin and cause itchiness and dryness when used over a long period. 

You may also be exposed to chemicals on a daily basis such as hand sanitizer which can be bad for acrylics. This is because it contains alcohol which can result in your nails lifting or peeling.

Instructions to remove acrylic nails:

  1. Trim down your acrylic nails until you reach your natural nails. 
  2. Fill a bowl with hot water, but ensure it’s not scalding hot. You don’t want to burn yourself! 
  3. Cover the bowl and your hands with a towel and soak your nails for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Keep nails soaking until they begin to swell, which may take longer than 20 minutes, so be patient. 
  5. Use a nail file or cuticle stick to gently pull the acrylic off your natural nail. 
  6. Use cuticle oil and moisturizer on your hands and nails. 

Patience is important when removing acrylic nails. If you rush the process, you are more likely to cause damage to your nails. If you don’t have much time on your hands, wait until you do. 

Consider watching your favorite show or listening to a podcast while you let your nails soak. Keeping your mind preoccupied will help you pass the time quickly. 

Things To Keep In Mind While Taking Off Acrylic Nails

Woman with beautiful natural manicure and perfectly clean skin on white background

Removing acrylic nails isn’t just about the process. Instead, you want to consider what you do before and after removing your acrylics.

Here are a few guidelines when taking off acrylic nails:

Don’t Pull Acrylic Nails Off 

Whatever you do, don’t try to pull your acrylic nails off. But, despite your temptation, pulling acrylics off can damage your nail bed, even if they are already coming off. In addition to damage, pulling acrylic nails off can hurt a lot. 

Soak Your Nails Longer If Necessary 

While 15-20 minutes is the recommended soaking time, don’t be afraid to continue to soak your nails if needed.

Sometimes you might need an additional 5-10 minutes before efficiently removing the acrylics. 

Use Nail Strengtheners After Removing Acrylics 

It would help if you didn’t stop caring for your nails once you take the acrylics off. After removal, ensure you apply a nail strengthener on your natural nail to keep them from getting too brittle. 

Apply Moisturizer Daily 

Acrylics can remove the natural oils from your nails, so you must apply a daily moisturizer.

Daily moisturizer should be a part of your routine to maintain healthy skin and nails.

For a bonus, find a moisturizer with an SPF. 

Get Your Vitamins In 

To keep your nails looking and feeling their best, ensure you are taking vitamins to help with nail growth.

The following are the best vitamins to help strengthen your nails:

  • Calcium 
  • Biotin 
  • Iron
  • Magnesium 
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

How To Remove The Remaining Glue

You might notice some remaining glue after removing your acrylics.

Here are three easy ways to follow to eliminate the excess glue:

  1. Soak your fingers in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes, and then gently scrape away the remaining glue. 
  2. Use a nail file to file the remaining glue off your nails. 
  3. Buff out the remaining glue with a nail buffer and rinse thoroughly. 

Leftover glue can be stubborn, so you might have to soak your nails more than once.

If you decide to file or buff the remaining glue, ensure you don’t over-file; otherwise, you can cause your nails to become thin and brittle. 

4 Other Ways To Remove Acrylic Nails 

Young woman getting manicure in beauty salon. Manicurist covers the nails with a transparent base of varnish.

Visit Your Nail Salon 

One of the best ways to remove acrylic nails is to see a professional at your nail salon.

Your nail tech has the appropriate equipment to safely remove acrylic nails without causing damage to your natural nails. 

Always ensure you see a reputable salon and that they have sanitary practices in place.

Unfortunately, you can put yourself at risk of infection if you remove acrylics incorrectly. Don’t be afraid to ask your nail tech how they sterilize their tools. 

Use An Electric File 

Although it’s not necessary to use an electric file on acrylics, If you have one, you can use it to remove your acrylic nails.

Here are a few helpful steps on using an electric file:

  1. Cut your acrylics short before you begin filing. 
  2. You also want to remove any accessories or gems attached to your acrylics. 
  3. Use the electric file to file down your acrylics until you reach your natural nail. 
  4. Thoroughly wash your hands and inspect if any acrylic pieces are still attached to your natural nails. 
  5. After you’ve removed the acrylics, use cuticle oil and moisturizer to help repair your nails. 

Use Acetone To Remove Acrylics 

While acetone can be harsh on your nails, it’s one of the easiest at-home methods for removing acrylics. For example, acetone can cause your skin to become irritated and dry, so ensure you have moisturizer on hand. 

To use acetone to remove acrylics, follow these steps:

  1. Pour the acetone into a bowl and soak your fingers for 3-5 minutes. 
  2. Then, wait until the acrylics dissolve in the acetone before removing them. 
  3. File off any remaining glue. 
  4. Thoroughly wash and moisturize your hands and nails. 

To lessen the effect of the acetone, mix the substance with water to remove your acrylics. Using water will help lower the potency of the acetone and keep your fingers from getting irritated. 

If you notice your skin becoming irritated by the acetone, discontinue use immediately.

Unfortunately, acetone can dehydrate your nail plate and cause your cuticles to become dry and flaky. 

Mix Dish Soap And Vegetable Oil 

If you are looking for a natural way to remove acrylic nails, look no further than your pantry. You can use dish soap and vegetable oil as a safe, effective method of removing acrylics.

Follow the below steps for easy removal:

  1. Fill a bowl with hot water and add a significant amount of dish soap and vegetable oil. 
  2. Mix the ingredients well and soak your hands for 15-20 minutes, or until the acrylics and glue begin to dissolve. 
  3. If the acrylics have softened, use a file or tweezers to safely pull the acrylics away from your natural nails. 

Since excessive use of soap can dry out your hands, don’t forget to moisturize after removing your acrylics. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How often can you get acrylic nails?

While you can get fill-ins as your natural nails grow, it’s best if you take breaks between new sets of acrylics. So, giving your nails time to rejuvenate will keep them healthy and prevent long-term damage. 

What’s the quickest way to remove acrylic nails?

It would be best if you never rushed removing acrylic nails because you can cause severe damage to your nails. However, the quickest method would be to use acetone to remove acrylics. Soaking your acrylics in acetone for a few minutes can help them dissolve. 

Can I use vinegar to remove acrylic nails?

You can use vinegar to remove acrylic nails, but it may not work as quickly as you’d like. You can mix equal parts vinegar and lemon juice and soak your fingers for 15-20 minutes. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly since vinegar can leave a lasting smell. 

Does hot water ruin acrylics?

Unless you soak your acrylics in hot water for a long time, it will not harm your acrylics. You can still take a hot shower or bath without worrying about ruining your acrylics. However, don’t let your nails sit in the water too long if you decide to take a bath.